Panel Comments: Michael Morris

My name is Michael Morris. I’m the chair of the Public Affairs Committee of the American Evaluation Association and it is a pleasure this afternoon to welcome you to the second annual Public Issues Forum. The forum is actually going to be audio-taped for the AEA website and will be in place at the website, hopefully not too long after this. And, given that we have a new Communications Director in the organization, who knows? Future Forums may be made into an HBO mini series; we have no idea where this could go. So if you would like to begin an acting career, try to get on the forum panel. We have a very exciting topic today. As AEA grows, the role it might play in the development of policy at the Federal level is increasingly being discussed by the Association, and today’s session is going to focus on what currently takes place with respect to evaluation at the Federal level - both in a general sense and in some specific agencies - and also what might be the case in the future in terms of evaluation’s presence and particularly the presence of the American Evaluation Association.

We have a group of individuals to discuss that who are eminently qualified for that topic, so let me introduce them very briefly to you and then we will begin.

Wendell Primus was not able to be here today, but we have a wonderful substitute for Wendell – George Grob, who was formerly Deputy Inspector General for Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services. And prior to that, he was the Director of Planning and Policy Coordination at HHS.

He will be followed by Thomas Chapel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thomas is Senior Evaluation Scientist - not junior, not freshman, not sophomore - Senior Evaluation Scientist in the office of Workforce and Career Development at the Centers for Disease Control.

Patrick Clark, National Institutes of Justice. He is the Acting Chief - not acting assistant chief - he is the Acting Chief of the Evaluation Research Division at the National Institute of Justice.

Bernice Anderson is at the National Science Foundation. She is a Senior Advisor for Evaluation. Once again, not freshman, sophomore or junior – Senior Advisor for Evaluation there.

Our discussant will be the 2009 President of the American Evaluation Association – Debra Rog. She is an Associate Director at Westat and has 25 years of experience in the field of evaluation.

Each of our presenters will have about 15 minutes to provide an overview within their domain and then that should leave us some time for questions at the end. Let me ask George to come up to the podium and we will begin. Thank you.

Panel comments: George Grob